If the name audemars piguet code 11.59 sounds pretty cool by itself (at least to me), Audemars Piguet also uses it as an acronym to present the watch: Challenge -Challenge the limits of craftsmanship The Code 11.59 is a contemporary design, “ consciously thought for both men and women.
When it comes to marketing gaffes in the watchmaking scene, few come close to being as memorable as the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 launch back in 2019. Long story short, the illustrious Swiss brand hyped the line so far up the stratosphere only to go out on a whimper when the watches were finally presented. Many in the collector circle felt that they were exceedingly plain and basic, while others likened them to watches from Michael Kors or Fossil. The silver lining was that the collection could only get better from there on out. To Audemars Piguet’s credit, that is precisely what is happening.
In July this year, the revered Le Brassus manufacturer introduced gradient lacquered dials to various models within the Code 11.59 collection. The aesthetic change was impactful to say the least, garnering praise from press and enthusiasts alike. While it doesn’t completely fix all that is wrong with the collection, the dial change certainly makes things noticeably better. One model that has benefited from its new visage is the resident chronograph of the collection. Here, we bring you the low-down and our thoughts on the new Code 11.59 Selfwinding Chronograph with smoked dial.
The case of the audemars piguet code 11.59 Selfwinding Chronograph with smoked dial remains the same as its original incarnation. It’s still got the octagonal case middle, the lugs hanging off the bezel and the back, and of course the really cool warped sapphire crystal at the front. Honestly, the case is one of, if not the best part of the Code 11.59. Audemars Piguet does well to leave the case unaltered, because why fix something that isn’t broken?
The dial, however, did need some fixing. And in truth, even with this new gradient dial, it still isn’t completely fixed. That said, we’re at a much better place than in the beginning. The issue with the dial back when the collection debuted was that it was severely uninspiring and generic. The dial, the markers, the hands – they were all bland. Now, with the smoked dial, at least part of what was wrong with the visage of the Selfwinding Chronograph is rectified. Gradient dials aren’t exactly a new thing in watchmaking. It is H. Moser & Cie who have really put the gradient dial, or as they prefer to call them: fumé dial, on the pedestal over the years. Here, Audemars Piguet has done something similar. The dial of the Selfwinding Chronograph gradates from a midnight blue in the center to pitch black on the periphery. But that’s not all there is to the dial; it too has a gorgeous sunburst pattern and a smooth lacquer finish. With so much nuance, it is a far cry from what it was previously. Had the Code 11.59 debuted with this, the reactions and reviews wouldn’t have been as crucifying.
Speaking of the hands and markers, they look better here as well even though they remain the same in design. As they say, “a rising tide lifts all boats” – the rising tide here being the smoked dial, the boats being the hands, applied and printed markers. In short, we feel that the effect the dial change has on the Code 11.59 Selfwinding Chronograph cannot be overstated. It may not be a cure-all panacea, but boy does it uplift the watch tremendously.
Driving the new Code 11.59 Selfwinding Chronograph with smoked dial is the Calibre 4401, which is also used in the original. For fans of the brand, rest assured that the movement is in-house developed, not third-party supplied. For far too long, the Maison had depended on outsourced chronograph movements (save for a few ultra high end models); it was about time the Calibre 4401 came along! The movement has a power reserve of 70 hours, which is fairly respectable for an automatic calibre. The Calibre 4401 is more than just a column wheel chronograph, it also has a flyback function that allows the user to restart the chronograph without stopping and resetting it first. This is a functionality that may be well-known to the average enthusiast but interestingly still isn’t all that common in high end chronograph watches.
With regards to finissage, the usual Audemars Piguet excellence is present. It’s no Royal Oak Concept chronograph movement but the Calibre 4401 is no gargoyle either. The bridges are endowed with Geneva waves while their edges are chamfered and polished. We’re also big fans of the skeletonised winding mass, which boasts multiple sharp inward and outward angles.
It’s not exactly going to win any awards, but the Code 11.59 Selfwinding Chronograph with smoked dial is certainly one of 2020’s most improved timepieces by virtue of its original form being so average. All that’s left for Audemars Piguet to do is to work on the other dial elements and we’ll have a truly impressive watch. The brand’s attempt to breakaway from the Royal Oak and the stigma of being a one-trick pony is applaudable. The Code 11.59 is a work in progress that is brimming with potential; once the right balance is struck (eventually), we may have ourselves a new icon in Audemars Piguet’s stable.
It is fair to say that reaction to the first generation of Code 11.59 watches, revealed at SIHH in January, 2019, was mixed. But Audemars Piguet is determined to become far more than just a Royal Oak brand, it needs something more dressy. A second collection drops this week, with five new three-handers with date, and five automatic chronographs.
Audemars Piguet replica watch presents two new aventurine dial versions of Code 11.59 Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon watch. This new dial design combines the refinement of enamel with the shimmering of aventurine glass for a unique effect of star-lit sky. To complement the collection’s complex architecture and countless details, the Manufacture’s dial makers have covered the timepiece’s gold
Old and New and Young and Old In 2019 Audemars Piguet launched the Code 11.59 collection one of those exquisite pieces is the Open-Worked Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph Watch. There were thirteen models within six families and each building upon a history of excellence. The flying tourbillons are part of a horological history of development